Working with Expense Envelopes

Expense envelopes help users gather receipts for purchases to be reimbursed or to be applied to a corporate credit card. Because the workflow is very similar to purchase orders, expenses functionality has been built into the aACE Purchase Orders module. 

An expense envelope represents a collection of related expenses for the same event (e.g. a trade show). The expenses are the individual purchases you make during the event (e.g. airfare, meals, etc). In the past, the printed receipts for such expenses were collected in an actual envelope, which would be delivered to the supervisor for review. The terms used here are a vestige of these earlier business practices.

After your system administrator configures your system for expense envelopes, team members can create expense envelopes for themselves and others. Supervisors can review the submitted expense records and approve them.

Team Members Creating and Submitting Expense Envelopes

Team members who accrue expenses can record the details in aACE, then submit them for approval. 

You can enter expense items one at a time or use the Actions menu to populate items from a previous envelope or an external spreadsheet. If your company uses the aACE Expenses App, you can also record and collect expenses using your mobile device.

  1. Navigate to Menu > Accts Payable > Purchase Orders.
  2. In the menu bar, click Actions > Create New Expense Envelope.
  3. Enter the needed Expense Items, as outlined by your company policies.
    • Line Item Code — Select an item to populate the Description and Qty fields.
    • Date — Specify when the item was purchased.
      Note: Entering the purchase date is especially important with credit card purchases. This date will be used to reconcile the credit card statement.
    • Paperclip () — Click to upload a picture of the expense receipt. 
    • Notes () — Click to record details about the expense.
    • Job — Click enter or select an existing job for the expense.
    • CC — To note that the item was purchased using a corporate credit card, mark this flag.
      Note: Expense items with the CC flag left cleared are handled as out-of-pocket expenses eligible for a reimbursement check.
  4. Click Save, then click Submit.
  5. Fill out the Send Notice dialog and click Send.
    Note: Use this notice to help the approver understand the expenses you're submitting.

The envelope Tracking Status is updated to Submitted. The record Status remains as Pending until your supervisor approves the expense envelope. aACE generates an 'Exp Env Submitted' notice and sends it to the assigned team.

Team Members Checking the Status of a Submitted Envelope

After you submit an expense envelope, you can easily check on its status using the My Notices module. When the approver makes a decision about the expense envelope, you will receive a notification here.

You can also monitor the status of an envelope at the Purchase Orders module. In the list view, use the Quick Search bar to locate the desired expense envelope.

Useful purchase order columns include:

  • Asgn To — Shows the initials of the team member currently assigned as the Approver for the envelope. To view the full name, hover the mouse pointer over the initials.
  • Balance — Shows the amount currently outstanding on a partially paid expense envelope.
  • Tracking Status:
    • Submitted — Waiting to be reviewed
    • Rejected — Has been reviewed and sent back for modifications
      Note: Check your My Notices for feedback on what needs to be modified.
  • Status:
    • Pending — Waiting to be submitted or approved
      The record is not officially in the accounting system yet and has not created any transactions. This means it can still be revised. 
    • Closed — Has been approved
      A purchase is in the accounting system for payment.
    • Void — Has been denied

Supervisors Reviewing and Approving Expense Envelopes

When you receive a notice about a team member's expense envelope, you can click the Link To quick-link to display the related record. You can also navigate to the My Notices module and search the Message Title column for "Exp Env".

At the detail view of an expense envelope, you can process it per your company policies using the Actions menu:

  • Approve Expense Envelope — aACE generates the applicable purchase records, one for out-of-pocket expenses (if any) and one for credit card purchases (if any). The expense envelope record is closed.
  • Reject Expense Envelope — aACE provides two options for handling rejections:
    • Reject — aACE updates the envelope Tracking Status to Rejected, but keeps the record open.  
    • Void — aACE voids the envelope record Status to Void, which will require the team member to create a new expense envelope.

Messages in the Notices module are not updated in sync with the expense envelope. This means that after you approve or reject an envelope, you must manually send a notice to provide feedback for the team member who submitted the envelope. aACE helps you manage this communication by automatically displaying the Send Notice dialog. 

Supervisors Paying Expense Envelopes

 Expense items are organized into two Purchase records: 

  • Items a team member paid for out-of-pocket — A purchase record is created, payable to the team member's internal 'company'. These purchases are paid via your normal disbursements workflow.
  • Items purchased on corporate credit cards — The purchase record is payable to the credit card company via your normal A/P workflows.